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Vitaly Shishov: Head of Belarusian group missing in Kyiv

image sourceTadeusz Giczan

image captionVitaly Shishov went missing in the Ukranian capital Kyiv

The head of an organisation helping Belarusians fleeing abroad has gone missing in Ukraine.

Vitaly Shishov, head of the Kyiv-based Belarusian House in Ukraine, was reported missing by his partner after failing to return from a jog, Reuters news agency quoted police as saying.

His organisation said a search of the area in which Mr Shishov normally ran had failed to find any sign of him.

Many Belarusians have left the country after a violent crackdown last year.

Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania in particular have become favoured destinations for those fleeing persecution following a disputed presidential election in Belarus in August 2020.

Friends of Mr Shishov reported that he had been followed recently, Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Gizcan said in a tweet on Monday.

He added that Ukranian border forces had been made aware of the case.

The Belarusian House in Ukraine provides support to new arrivals in finding accommodation, jobs and legal advice, its website says.

Sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, said she had forcibly taken to the airport for criticising coaches, and voiced fears for her safety.

media captionKrystina Timanovskaya asked the International Olympic Committee for help

Earlier this year, there was an international outcry over the detention of opposition Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, after the Ryanair plane they were travelling on was forced to land in the country.

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